STA, August 17, 2022 – While experts assess the damage the drought has caused to agriculture, city dwellers are also witnessing the long-term impact of the dry summer, especially on the coast, where communal vegetation is further affected by the watering ban. Cities where watering was mostly allowed took different approaches to prevent the worst.
The greatest damage is recorded in coastal municipalities, although the city of Koper, for example, relaxed the watering ban somewhat by using water from a nearby lake.
Annuals, perennials, shrubs and aromatic plants are currently struggling with the drought, and a dozen newly planted trees have failed.
The heat also had a strong impact on the Bonifika sports center in Koper, where two of the three football fields were completely destroyed due to the heat and the ban on watering. The main playground is watered with purchased water, which is brought in from a distance of 60 kilometers.
Meanwhile, the Ljubljana utility company Voka Snaga, which takes care of tree maintenance, is also trying to protect some trees in the capital, even though it watered 1,087 trees 5,790 times in the summer.
“At extremely high temperatures, more than 35 degrees Celsius, sometimes even regular watering of the trees does not protect them from drying out,” representatives of the company told STA when the media reported that the famous birch tree on Prešeren square is now dry.
In Maribor, the main challenge is about 800 trees planted in the last three years, with some of the most vulnerable being watered daily.
In addition, the pitch height was raised on the municipal greens to protect them from drying out completely. Mulch and watering bags have proven invaluable.
Similar measures are also implemented in Kranj, where the newly planted trees, about 500 of which have been planted in the last four years, are also supported with additives such as humic acid and special tablets that help mitigate the consequences of drought.
Officials in Celje talk about a “doubling, if not tripling” of efforts to green the city compared to last year. Watering bags are a popular measure and although damage has also been noted on older trees, they do not seem to dry out.
Murska Sobota reported success in the fight against drought and drought, but the authorities warned that the actual damage will be known only next spring, when the trees should start to sprout fresh leaves.